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#UniteBehind demands better railway services

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“Until 70 percent of trains run on time for three consecutive months, monthly ticket holders should be entitled to use their ticket for the duration of the next consecutive month.”

This was but one of the demands commuters were calling for yesterday, as activists from the organisation #UniteBehind hosted a mass action protest with members of the public at the Cape Town train station, to voice concern over Metrorail’s poor services.

The organisation also launched the #DelayRepay campaign aimed at highlighting financial losses incurred by commuters forced to use alternative public transports as a result of the failing passenger rail system.

Media and communications officer for #UniteBehind, Matthew Hirsch said commuters are fed up with Metrorail’s poor service.

“A lot of customers are not compensated for their tickets that they buy at Metrorail. There is still a lot of cancellations and delays, so because of the system that has failed, commuters have to pay the price,” Hirsh said.

Meanwhile organiser Zukie Vuka said commuters suffer daily because of state capture, corruption, mismanagement, loss of rail stock and infrastructure and organised crime.

The organisation also stated that it is concerned about the safety of commuters. On Friday, three trains were set alight within hours of each other in Cape Town.

“What we are saying to them is that they need to give us a safety plan that is centered on commuters. It must speak to the needs of commuters and obviously we want the to increase security,” Vuka added.

Metrorail however, said it would boost security on trains to ensure the safety of commuters. Metrorail regional manager in the Western Cape, Richard Walker, confirmed that they’ve met with social movement Unite Behind, to try and find solutions to some of their concerns. Metrorail added that it will boost security on trains to ensure the safety of commuters.

[VOC: Louche Jordaan]
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